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Almost 30% of children in Cornwall are living in poverty

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Published by Sarah Yeoman at 2:12pm 16th May 2019.

It has been revealed that almost 30% of children in Cornwall are living in poverty.

According to new figures from The Children's Society - the Duchy is one of the hardest hit areas in the south west.

The charity says many youngsters are living in homes without heating, going without food, and don't have any warm winter clothes.

It is warning that many working families are being affected because of problems such as cuts to benefits.

Now it is calling on the government to take urgent action.

The local authority areas in South West facing the highest levels of child poverty, after housing costs are taken into account, are:

  • Plymouth and Torbay with 31%
  • Weymouth and Portland and Torridge with 30%
  • Cornwall with 29%
  • Gloucester and North Devon with 28%
abuse

 

"The Children's Society is hugely disappointed to see that across the South West around 1 in 4 children are trapped in poverty.

"Without significant additional investment, there is little hope of reducing child poverty rates in coming years.

"The government must urgently invest more in children's services and reverse damaging decisions to cut benefit rates to ensure we can disrupt this continuing cycle of disadvantage.

"We need a renewed strategy to end child poverty in order to prevent another generation of young people growing up in a country where poverty harms their wellbeing and undermines their life chances."

Sam Royston, Director of Policy at The Children's Society

children on beach

The data, published by the End Child Poverty coalition, highlights how worrying levels of child poverty vary across Britain and shows that poverty is on the rise - and rising fastest in places where it is already highest.

Researchers from Loughborough University estimated the numbers of children locked in poverty in each constituency, ward and local authority area across Britain, showing that child poverty is rising particularly rapidly in parts of major cities, especially London, Birmingham and Manchester, suggesting that inequality between areas is growing.

"We know what causes child poverty and we know how to end it. We know that the income of less well-off families has been hit by severe real-terms cuts in benefits and by higher housing costs. And we know that work alone does not guarantee a route out of poverty, with two thirds of child poverty occurring in working families.

"Yet in many areas growing up in poverty is not the exception it's the rule with more children expected to get swept up in poverty in the coming years, with serious consequences for their life chances. Policymakers can no longer deny the depth of the problem or abandon entire areas to rising poverty. The Government must respond with a credible child poverty-reduction strategy.

"The Government's own data shows that child poverty in the UK has been rising steadily in recent years. This just isn't right.

"Growing up in poverty means growing up trapped. It restricts a child's chances of doing well at school, of living a healthy and happy life, and of finding well paid work as adults.

"We urgently need Government to set a course of action that will free our children from the grip of poverty."

Anna Feuchtwang, Chair of the End Child Poverty coalition

fuel poverty

End Child Poverty is calling for Government to set out 'an ambitious and credible child poverty-reduction strategy', including:

  • Restoring the link between benefits (including housing support) and inflation, and then making up for the loss in the real value in children's benefits as a result of the 4-year freeze and previous sub-inflation increases in benefit rates.
  • Ending the two-child limit on child allowances in tax credits and universal credit-and reforming Universal Credit;
  • Reversing the cuts and investing in children's services such as mental health, education, childcare and social care.

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